The Australian truck market ended the Financial Year at 30 June on yet another high, up 16.7 per cent on  the first six months of  last year, registering a stunning 6054 trucks in  the month of June  alone, taking the year to date  total for the market to almost 25000 trucks.

Should the current sales performance continue the 2023 market  may  go close to breaking the 50,000 barrier for the full year, but that prospect is still a little way off, and we will have to see if the double whammy of rising interest rates and the end of the instant asset tax write off program slows sales down in the second half. However most truck makers are still reporting that order books remain close to full with few customers cancelling.

The June result was a record for the month, out pacing  the 4987 sold in June last year by 1067 units  bringing the exact year to date tally to 24395, placing the market well up on the first six months of last year.

 While the year to date result last year broke the record first six month of 2018 by 987 trucks, this years’ numbers breaks last year’s record by 3508 trucks.

 Everywhere you looked  there were records broken, with market leader Isuzu setting a new monthly record of 1594 units while taking 26.3 per cent market share, while Hino also produced the best ever monthly result with 882  trucks  and 14.6 per cent  share, 71 units ahead of its  record month in June last year.

Proving the maxim that a rising sea lifts all boats, Fuso also had an all-time record month result with 689 sales and 11.4 per cent share.

However the outstanding improvement award has to go to Volvo which sold an amazing  overall total  of 502 trucks in June, including 497 heavy duty models, the best result ever posted by the Swede in more than 50 years  of operations in Australia. It wasn’t all that long ago that a tally of 500 trucks would have been enough for Isuzu to take outright first place on the sales charts, but the market has expanded so much that even the lower volume heavy duty segment is selling up a storm.

Long-time heavy duty market leader Kenworth again succumbed to the Volvo sales onslaught, finishing second in the heavy sector and fifth outright, as well as slipping a little further behind Volvo in the year to date race for heavy duty supremacy. Kenworth sold 473 trucks in June (all heavy duty) to capture 7.8 per cent overall market share and 20.6 per cent share of the heavies. By comparison Volvo  took 8.3 per cent overall market share and 20. 6 per cent in the heavy sector.

Volvo is 39 units ahead of Kenworth year to date  and you can bet your bottom dollar the team from Bayswater won’t  give up the crown without a fight.

Next best in the overall market was Iveco in sixth place with 208 sales, 129  of which were light duty models and 56 heavy duty trucks.

Mercedes Benz was in seventh with 172 trucks overall, ahead of a gaggle of brands close behind including  a remarkable 168 sales for Mack in eighth,  162 for Scania in ninth, 156 for UD in 10th and  112 for DAF in 11th.

It is believed that it was also record  month for Mack,  Scania, UD and DAF, again illustrating the lift across just about every brand.

Beyond the battle for first in Heavy Duty, Isuzu  was third in the sector with 291  sales in June, Mack was next with its 168, edging Scania which has been consistently  performing well in recent months with better supply, while UD sold 133 heavies. Next was DAF with an impressive 109 heavy duty sales, then Hino with 107, Mercedes with 105 and Fuso with 79.

Freightliner had one of its best months in some time with 60 heavy duty sales but we understand supply is still an issue for Daimler’s American brand. Iveco’s 56  was strong but MAN with just 24 and Western Star with 21 were disappointing in such an upbeat market.

In medium duty Isuzu took 44.2 per cent of the segment with an impressive tally of 476 sales for the month, although rival Hino also bounced back well from its prolonged supply issues to sell 339 mediums  for 31.5 per cent segment share, while Fuso’s 184 gave it 17.1 per cent share and third place in the sector.

Next best was UD and Iveco who both tied for fourth with 23 mediums, while a continuing to improve Hyundai sold 16 mediums  for its best result in the sector ever. The rest were all in single figures with Volvo  on five, MAN with four, DAF on three and both Mercedes and SEA Electric on two mediums for the month.

In light duty Isuzu  led the way with a massive 827 trucks  and 40.7 per cent share, almost double that of nearest rival Hino with 436 and 21.4 per cent share of the segment. Hino also had to keep an eye over its shoulder with Fuso close behind finishing the month just 10 units shy of its rivals total, registering 426 sales for 20.9 per cent of the sector.

Iveco was next best with 129  sales for its Daily based light truck,  almost double rival Mercedes with 65 Sprinter trucks, while Fiat registered 52 Ducatos as trucks.

Two notable performances were  Hyundai with 38 light duty sales and a strong showing by Foton Mobility  with 21 sales, all of them battery electric trucks in  the brand’s debut on the TIC sales charts as a full electric marque. Foton is claiming  from that result that it is the best selling electric truck in Australia, and in the absence of  any evidence against it, it’s a fair claim.

In vans Mercedes Benz was again the dominant force  with 302 sales of its Sprinter models  and 46.5 per cent share of the sector. Volkswagen was next best with 116 sales of its Crafter, while Renault’s Master sold just two units less with 114, to be ahead of Iveco with 41 , Ford with 39 Transits and Fiat bringing up the tail with 37 Ducatos.

The battle for  Heavy Duty supremacy is going to be captivating  over the next six months as Volvo  tries hard to finally topple  the sector king, while the  prospect of an even bigger record breaking total truck market is shaping as a done deal.